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Guinea-Bissau state employees end strike

28 May 2012, 17:27

Bissau - State employees in Guinea-Bissau resumed work Monday after going on strike in the wake of a military coup on 12 April, an AFP correspondent reported.

At the small west African country's government building located on the northern outskirts of Bissau, which houses 12 ministries, administrative staff were back at work.

"We asked our members to show up for work today. More than 90% have heeded this call," Estevao Gomes Company, secretary general of the National Union of Workers of Guinea (UNTG), the biggest trade union in the country, told AFP.

State employees had been on strike since the UNTG and most other unions urged them to stop work on 16 April.

The UNTG, believed close to the ousted ruling party, had urged its members to wait for a new government before going back to work.

A government was named on 22 May to lead a year-long political transition in Guinea-Bissau, which is prey to chronic instability and has in recent years become a hub for drug running between South America and Europe.

During the strike, hospitals provided a minimum service but the capital and the country at large were paralysed.

The new government had called for an end to the stoppage, promising to soon resolve the problem of wage arrears.

The civil service in Guinea-Bissau employs more than 13,000 people.

Security for the political transition will be provided by a west African force of more than 600 men, who completed their arrival in Bissau on Sunday.


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